HomeSun City InsiderBuyer Beware: Gift Card Scams on the Rise

Buyer Beware: Gift Card Scams on the Rise

It’s as simple as filling up a gift card at your favorite coffee shop, and you’re scammed out of that money before taking a sip of coffee.

Gift cards are becoming a popular target for scam artists because they are easy for people to buy, have few protections and are hard to trace. The cards can be easily tampered with by scammers, who remove security tape and take note of the card’s secret 16-digit activation number. Many times, the cards don’t look like they’ve been tampered with as new tape is placed on them.

That’s why it is important to be on the lookout for signs that someone has damaged cards, like checking for protective stickers and making sure the PIN number isn’t showing.

In other situations, someone might ask you to pay for something by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the numbers on the back of the card. Often scammers will direct their victims to specific stores to buy gift cards, like Target, Walmart and Walgreens. If they ask you to do this, they are likely trying to scam you. Be aware of who is asking you to send them gift card numbers. Common scams may be online romantic partners who claim they have fallen on hard times.

Worst case scenario, keeping your receipt when buying gift cards can save you some headache. If you do get scammed, this will allow you to file a police report and get assistance from the gift card issuer.

The best way to avoid gift card scams is to remember that no real business or government agency will insist you pay them with a gift card. When in doubt, take your time and ask trusted friends and family members.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular